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Data from: Floral resource availability from groundcover promotes bee abundance in coffee agroecosystems

Citation

Fisher, Kaleigh; Gonthier, David J.; Ennis, Katherine K.; Perfecto, Ivette (2017), Data from: Floral resource availability from groundcover promotes bee abundance in coffee agroecosystems, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4s51m

Abstract

Patterns of bee abundance and diversity across different spatial scales have received thorough research consideration. However, the impact of short and long term temporal resource availability on biodiversity has been less explored. This is highly relevant in tropical agricultural systems for pollinators, as many foraging periods of pollinators extend beyond flowering of any single crop species. In this study, we sought to understand how bee communities in tropical agroecosystems changed between seasons, and if short and long term floral resource availability influenced their diversity and abundance. We used a threshold analysis approach in order to explore this relationship at two time scales. This study took place in a region dominated by coffee agroecosystems in Southern Mexico. This was an ideal system because the landscape offers a range of coffee management regimes that maintain heterogeneity in floral resource availability spatially and temporally. We found that the bee community varies significantly between seasons. There were higher abundances of native social, solitary and managed honeybees during the dry season when coffee flowers. Additionally, we found that floral resources from groundcover, but not trees, were associated with bee abundance. Further, the temporal scale of the availability of these resources is important, whereby short-term floral resource availability appears particularly important in maintaining high bee abundance at sites with lower seasonal complementarity. We argue that in additional to spatial resource heterogeneity, temporal resource heterogeneity is critical in explaining bee community patterns, and should thus be considered to promote pollinator conservation.

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